We are living in a new dark age. The standards are plummeting, fast, taking with them our sense of civility and common sense.
The media are at the forefront of this transition. Sick with the need for high ratings, they thrive on shock and awe, anything that captures the imagination of their viewers, caution be damned. Limits be smashed, defiled. The ruder and cruder, the better. The fouler and cockier, the more appealing. The more amazing. Awesome. Rad. Sick.
The new terms for ‘cool.’
Our culture suffers our need for the sick and the rad, and our media disseminate it, en masse, feeding the loop. No matter the content, if the material creates a hype, if it sells, they sell it. We buy it. Even if it damages our wellbeing, undermining our way of life, we consume it. We crave for more, and ask for more, and they oblige, producing it and syndicating it and making a circus out of it, a killing from it, even if it bites them in the rear, hurting their own standing.
Donald Trump, for example. The media’s sworn adversary, their public enemy number one, and yet he creates so much buzz for them, so much business, selling headlines and online real estate like hotcakes. He’s like candy cotton in a state fair. The media love him. Can’t live without him, period — The New York Times, Saturday Night Live, all of them revamped in his tenure, on a roll, enjoying their highest ratings and sales figures in years.
Trump knows what he’s doing. He craps on the media, as messily as he can, making a spectacle out of it, and they broadcast him, making his outrageous stance even more popular, disseminating his ideas to the world, including his anti-media message.
And so the Trump brand grows, and he becomes even more popular and sought, which means more sales for the media that deal with him, prime advertising premiums, and the spectacle goes on in an unholy alliance that makes Kayser Soza’s mouth water.
Like junkies in a spiral, the media can’t stop, ushering in a dark age of bread and spectacle, with less bread and more spectacle because bread costs serious moola, whereas the spectacle rakes it in.
Part 2 to follow